While there has been a great deal of talk about lead acid battery factory closures in China (state authorities are said to have closed some 1,600 of the 2,000 facilities in the country) it’s positive to hear about growth in the United States.
General Electric has just opened it’s $170 million battery factory in New York State. Some of the production will be for their own hybrid locomotive and heavy service vehicles. However they will also be producing units to power backup systems and this has been seen in their first external order from South Africa’s Megatron Federal corporation.
Megatron Federal have ordered 6,000 batteries to be used as backup power in their telecommunication sites.
General Electric’s factory is producing a completely new type of sodium unit that is claimed to be half the size of traditional sealed lead acid batteries but last ten times as long. GE Chairman & CEO Jeff Immelt stated that the battery type contains over 30 patents and they expect it to be a global $1bn a year business within a decade.
The New York state facility was built with the assistance of local authorities and officials who contributed $20 million in funds. It is expected to employ 450 workers at full production and belongs to General Electric’s energy division, the most profitable part of the company.
Such advances may also have an impact in the world of alarm system and emergency lighting batteries offering manufacturers the ability to reduce sizes while at the same time increasing performance.
Leave A Comment?